“There isn’t a politically correct way to put it, but this is what needs to be said: 9/11 was a personal tragedy for thousands of families and a national tragedy for all of America, but it was very, very good for SAIC.” — journalists Donald Barlett and James Steele
Both before and after 9/11, one private company had a greater impact on counterterrorism programs in the Unites States than any other. That same company, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), also profited more from the events of 9/11 than any other. Its chief operating officer (COO), Duane Andrews, had expert-level knowledge of the vulnerabilities that were exploited on 9/11. He also happened to be a long-time, close colleague of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
SAIC feeds on terrorism, having won many of its record number of government contracts through the national security state that has arisen via the War on Terror. From building primary software systems for the FBI and NSA to providing the evidence for the capture of vital suspects, SAIC first helps define the problem of terrorism and then profits from that problem through contracts worth tens of billions of dollars.
As a leader in the outsourcing of U.S. military and intelligence work, SAIC exemplifies the loss of democracy inherent in the revolving door of the military-industrial-counterterrorism complex. And through its numerous contracts and employee security clearances, it has become a private business that cannot be distinguished from a permanent form of government. In short, SAIC is “the fraternal twin of the intelligence establishment.”
With regard to 9/11, SAIC’s impact cannot be overstated as the company:
- created the national databases that tracked and identified the alleged terrorists
- supplied U.S. airports with terrorism screening equipment
- predicted and investigated terrorist attacks against U.S. infrastructure including national defense networks and the World Trade Center
- helped create the official account for what happened at the WTC both in 1993 and after 9/11
- was a leader in research on thermitic materials like those found in the WTC dust
- provided the information used to capture the alleged mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed
Furthermore, Dick Cheney’s long-time protégé Duane P. Andrews ran SAIC’s government business for thirteen years, from 1993 to 2006, and was therefore a principal character in these activities. During this time, Andrews was also a leading corporate representative on government commissions and task forces that evaluated threats to U.S. defense and information systems. In order to better understand Andrews’ role in the failures experienced on 9/11, and to consider the need to investigate his activities further, review of his background is instructive.
From Vietnam to Cheney’s Protégé
Andrews began his career like some of the other suspects, as a soldier in the last war in which the U.S. was defeated. After being commissioned in the U.S. Air Force in 1967, Andrews began “analyzing aerial image intelligence for special operations missions over Vietnam.” Andrews recalled that he “went to Intelligence School because I thought I was going to be in bacteriological warfare.” Instead, he went into imagery analysis and “ended up in Da Nang, seeing plenty of combat.”
After returning from Vietnam, Andrews remained an intelligence officer in the Air Force until 1977. He then got a position as a staff member for the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. This was the congressional body assigned to oversee the secretive work of the CIA and other intelligence agencies after the scandals of the 1970s showed that those agencies could not be trusted to uphold U.S. laws. Andrews remained in this role for eleven years, rising to chief of staff for the committee.
During this time, which spanned the entirety of the Reagan Administration, Dick Cheney was a prominent member of the House Intelligence Committee along with Lee Hamilton, the future 9/11 Commission vice-chairman. Therefore Andrews, Cheney and Hamilton were together informed of details about the illegal Iran-Contra activities, allegations of U.S. government involvement in drug trafficking, the U.S. training and funding of the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, and the CIA’s collaboration with the terrorist network known as BCCI. Andrews’ role was reported to be in “cryptology, tactical intelligence and agency budgets” but, as chief of staff for the committee, he was almost certainly engaged in policy discussions.
George H.W. Bush must have been impressed with his work because he nominated Andrews for the post of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (ASD/C3I). Shortly thereafter, Andrews was personally giving Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney his daily intelligence briefs. During the Gulf War, Andrews’ primary role was to manage intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance operations.
Although today Andrews publicly calls for increased information security and warns about information warfare, he and Cheney used false information to start the Gulf War. This included satellite photos allegedly showing a build-up of Iraqi troops on the Saudi Arabian border, which were later proved false by St. Petersburg Times reporter Jean Heller. The satellite photos, provided by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which reported through Andrews, are still classified. The false information also included the testimony of the 15-year old Kuwaiti royal, Nayirah, a cousin to Wirt Walker’s colleague Mish’al Al-Sabah.
In March 1991, Andrews gained Cheney’s approval to dramatically increase the powers of the DIA, in part as a way to “fend off congressionally directed change.” The new powers included consolidation of the review of all intelligence production and redirection of covert operations from a Soviet to a “worldwide” focus based on experiences in the Persian Gulf. The DIA was later involved in tracking the alleged 9/11 hijackers through an operation called Able Danger. As early as 1991, however, DCI Robert Gates began to feel threatened by the power Andrews was gaining and as a result invited him to work more closely with the CIA.
In his new role as assistant secretary of defense, Andrews also oversaw CIA budgets. While he worked for Cheney, Andrews supervised Stephen Cambone, who went on to become Donald Rumsfeld’s right- hand man in the George W. Bush administration.
Andrews left the Pentagon in 1993 to join SAIC as the President and COO of its Federal Business Division, which accounts for a majority of SAIC’s revenues. In this role, he supervised “much of the company’s work on secret projects with defense and national security agencies.” He was quickly asked to become a board director and was ultimately promoted to COO for the entire company.
Andrews’ fellow board members during his tenure included CIA leaders like former deputy director Bobby Ray Inman, former directors Robert Gates and John Deutch, and Donald Kerr, Deputy Director of the Science and Technology Division in 2001. Other SAIC bigwigs included Admiral William Owens, who became an influential member of Rumsfeld’s Defense Policy Board, and Christopher Henry, who became a key aide to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith. SAIC employees included former New York City OEM director Jerome Hauer and anthrax attack suspect Stephen Hatfill.
Also having worked for SAIC was Cathal “Irish” Flynn, who until the year 2000 was Michael Canavan’s predecessor in the FAA’s hijack coordinator position. It was Flynn who made the decision to allow passengers to carry 4-inch blades onto commercial aircraft. People who worked with Flynn said he made the exception so that passengers could “while away the time on long flights.” Despite his own lax approach, after the “underwear bomber” struck in late 2009, Flynn joined Brian Michael Jenkins in co-authoring a letter to the Washington Post that chastised U.S. leaders about airline security.
Andrews described the need for the secret defense and national security projects that he managed by saying “One of the things we spotted 10 to 12 years ago [in 1990] was that we needed to deal with information security or we, as a superpower, would be put at a great disadvantage by an enemy that could attack systems effectively.” As a result, Andrews personally managed SAIC’s programs for the National Security Agency (NSA), and other agencies within the U.S. intelligence community, in the years leading up to 9/11 and afterward.
As the man hired to defend the U.S. against attacks on its defense information systems, Andrews became a critical part of the national security apparatus. He was, more than anyone else, “the invisible hand behind a huge portion of the national security state – the one sector of the government whose funds are limitless and whose continued growth is assured every time a politician utters the word ‘terrorism.’” Under Andrews, SAIC began to epitomize the essence of the “military industrial counterterrorism complex.” All the while, he considered Dick Cheney his personal, lifelong hero.
SAIC and the Road to 9/11
SAIC also worked for many years in close partnership with oil-rich royals in the Middle East, particularly those which have become suspect with regard to 9/11. The first international contract that the company won was for training the Kuwaiti Defense Forces, starting in 1976. That was the year that the fifteen-year-old Kuwaiti royal, Mish’al Al Sabah, came to live with Wirt Walker in Washington DC. Three years later, SAIC secured its biggest and longest-lasting international contract, training the Saudi Arabian Navy. SAIC founder Robert Beyster, a former scientist from Los Alamos National Laboratory, described his pleasure at these deals in his book on the history of the company.
Other high-profile projects that SAIC worked on included the cleanups after the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster and the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. The company seemed to thrive on profiting from disasters. It also built the architecture for the U.S. Strategic Air Command and Army Missile Command systems, engaged in C3I activities during the first Gulf War (when Andrews was ASD/C3I).
In 1986, SAIC was hired by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) “to conduct a general security review of the WTC” with respect to terrorism. SAIC’s report rated the public areas of the WTC as very attractive targets for terrorism, emphasizing especially the basement levels. Securacom, later called Stratesec, was coincidentally hired by the PANYNJ in 1991 to provide a similar review and report.
After Andrews joined the company, SAIC was hired to investigate the 1993 bombing of the WTC, an event remarkably like the one which it had foreseen. Moreover, SAIC ultimately provided input that led to the official account of what happened. The company boasted that “After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, our blast analyses produced tangible results that helped identify those responsible.”
In the early 1990s, SAIC was also a leader in developing technology for aviation security. At the time, SAIC had been contracted by a congressional advisory panel, led by L. Paul Bremer and Brian Michael Jenkins among others, to evaluate terrorist threats with regard to airport security. By 1994, the company’s explosives detection equipment was installed in major airports around the country, including in New York City, Miami, and Washington, DC.
While SAIC continued training the Saudi Navy during this time, it was also bringing Saudi military personnel to company headquarters in San Diego. Meanwhile the Carlyle Group subsidiary Vinnell Corporation was training the Saudi Arabian National Guard and Booz Allen Hamilton was managing the Saudi Marine Corps and running the Saudi Armed Forces Staff College. All things considered, the Saudi military was essentially a U.S. corporate-built institution and SAIC was a major contributor.
Under Andrews, SAIC was heavily focused on analyzing risks to U.S. defense information systems and led the partnership between the U.S. government and industry in that area. As the chairman of a Defense Science Board taskforce on information warfare, Andrews learned about the specific vulnerabilities of U.S. national defense systems. In early 1997, he reported to Congress that U.S. defense systems were a “target-rich environment” and that attacks on certain facilities and information systems “would seriously affect the ability of the Department of Defense to carry out its assigned missions and functions.” Andrews went on to build and secure the Defense Information System Network (DISN). The secret component of the DISN, which was called SIPRnet, linked command and control systems throughout the United States.
As of March 2001, SAIC was also part of the National Coordinating Center for telecommunications (NCC). NCC provided oversight to the agency which, on the morning of 9/11 but before the attacks began, implemented a secret communications system called the Special Routing Arrangement Service (SRAS) for the first time. That system had been developed in conjunction with the Continuity of Government (COG) plans that Dick Cheney had worked on for nearly twenty years along with Richard Clarke, who implemented COG for the first time as the events of 9/11 proceeded.
The fact that Andrews was the most knowledgeable person in terms of the vulnerabilities of information and communications networks for U.S. national security calls for further consideration. That’s because so many inexplicable problems occurred with defense communications networks on 9/11, including the following.
- There were serious problems with the National Military Command Center’s conference calls that morning. Important participants could not be connected or were repeatedly dropped from the calls, including the FAA.
- U.S. national security facilities were in an information void on 9/11. Agencies that should have known the most about a terrorist event were blind to the ongoing attacks.
- The DISN’s SIPRnet did not have any information about the attacks even as late as the afternoon of 9/11
- President Bush complained of poor communications in that he “could not reach key officials, including Rumsfeld” and “The line to the White House shelter conference room – and the Vice-President – kept cutting off.”
In addition to being a leader in identifying and mitigating risks to national security information systems, SAIC was also a pioneer in the intelligence contracting business. In 1979, as a founding member of the Security Affairs Support Association along with companies like Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed, and Hughes Aircraft, SAIC helped define the outsourcing policies. Yet another special taskforce of the Defense Science Board, led in 1993 by BDM’s Philip Odeen, recommended a vast increase in the outsourcing of intelligence, which all these companies ended up benefiting from greatly.
In the mid-1990s, SAIC created the U.S. systems for tracking terrorist suspects. For the FBI, SAIC developed CODIS, the national DNA database, and NCIC, the national criminal background check system. To clarify, when in August 2001 Robert Fuller of the FBI went to search for Khalid Al-Mihdhar and Nawaf Al-Hazmi’s presence in the U.S. via the NCIC system, he was checking a database built by SAIC. Although Fuller claimed to have found nothing, the 9/11 Commission Report said that such checks should have unearthed driver’s licenses, car registrations, and telephone listings for Al-Mihdhar and Al Hazmi, all of which were in their names. This fact alone is enough to call for the investigation of SAIC with regard to 9/11.
SAIC purchased Boeing Information Services (BIS) in 1999. BIS specialized in information systems integration, logistics, networking, and outsourcing, and dealt with management of data communications to Boeing aircraft. Its work in progress included “a five-year Defense Information Systems Network contract with the Defense Information Systems Agency,” and “the Army’s Reserve Component Automation System, a 12-year contract worth $1.6 billion that the company won in 1991.”
In 2001, Andrews was involved in several sensitive government commissions with interesting members. He was a member of the Global Organized Crime Steering Committee, with soon-to-be U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner (who helped identify the alleged 9/11 hijackers), former Stratesec stockholder Arnaud de Borchgrave, neocon guru Fred Ikle, and former CIA directors William Webster, Robert Gates and James Woolsey.
Andrews was also a member of Donald Rumsfeld’s Commission to Assess National Security Space Management and Organization. This commission argued that the U.S. should avoid international agreements that limit the deployment of weapons in space, and that, in order to avoid a “Space Pearl Harbor,” the U.S. needed to “develop the capability for power projection in, from, and through space.” As a result, SAIC’s missile defense contracts tripled between 2001 and 2004, going from $47 million to $169 million in value.
Working with Andrews on the Rumsfeld Space Commission was Stephen Cambone, the Commission’s staff director. Cambone had spent three years in the Cheney DOD working under Duane Andrews as director for strategic defense policy, advocating for the satellite-based missile defense system known as ”Star Wars.” During the years of the Clinton Administration, Cambone worked for the conservative think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he wrote a book proposing a new structure for national security planning and another on how to avoid the impending “train wreck” in U.S. military affairs.
In January 2001, Cambone returned to the Pentagon, reporting directly to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as “Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary (Wolfowitz).” Reportedly, Cambone was not well-liked by the military staff. But when Rumsfeld presented the work of the Space Commission in a press conference on May 8, 2001, he brought Andrews along with him and acknowledged Cambone. Later, Cambone was confirmed as the first ever Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, a role in which he coordinated 85% of the U.S. intelligence budget despite having no previous intelligence experience. When the 9/11 Commission requested documents from the psychological operations office of the Pentagon (SO/LIC), when that office was officially unoccupied, the requests went through Cambone.
Another SAIC leader who had strong links to the events of 9/11 and the actions that followed was the company’s director Wayne Downing. A member of the SAIC board from 1996 to 2001, Downing was Chairman of the Special Projects Committee, which reviewed classified programs involving special operational risks.
Like Brian Michael Jenkins, Downing was also a member of the Bremer Commission, which had defined the latest terrorism risks in June 2000. Prior to that, Downing had been the commander of U.S. Special Operations (SOCOM) during the first Gulf War and a member of the National Security Council (NSC) for George H.W. Bush. Downing rejoined the NSC immediately after the 9/11 attacks, replacing Richard Clarke.
Clarke was actually an old friend and office mate of SAIC director Downing. In his book Against All Enemies, Clarke wrote, “Replacing me as the senior NSC counterterrorism official was Wayne Downing, the retired four-star Army general who had led Special Operations Command. Wayne and I had first met twenty-eight years earlier when he was a young Major and I was an even younger Pentagon analyst, thrown together to share a windowless office in the bowels of the Pentagon.”
According to Jeff Griffith, FAA Assistant Director of Air Traffic Control, immediately following the 9/11 attacks Downing had meetings by secure video teleconference with the FAA and the White House. Those meetings covered a “lot of intelligence issues – any issues regarding the AT [air traffic] system.” Agencies that participated in the secure teleconferences with Downing included the Secret Service, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the FBI, and the CIA.
During the early months after 9/11, Downing accompanied Andrews’ hero Dick Cheney on “visits to the CIA to discuss U.S. intelligence on Iraq.” Downing then served as an unpaid adviser to Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi and he was an early advocate of war against Iraq.
SAIC and the WTC After 9/11
Perhaps not surprisingly, SAIC was one of the first organizations to show up at Ground Zero. The company claimed in its 2004 shareholder report that “Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, we responded rapidly to assist a number of customers near ground zero in New York City and in Washington, D.C.” In one of these instances, “SAIC technicians raced to Ground Zero within hours to install an ad hoc communications network for first responders and local financial companies.” Therefore, SAIC was in control of at least some of the communications at Ground Zero.
Perhaps the most interesting SAIC connection to the cleanup was John Blitch, a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) in the U.S. Army’s Special Forces, who retired from the Army just the day before 9/11. It was reported that Blitch was “filling out the paperwork in an out-processing office of the Pentagon on the morning of September 10, 2001,” and that after “three years at the helm of the Defense Department’s Tactical Mobile Robots Program,” he was “leaving to direct the Center for Intelligent Robotics and Unmanned Systems at the Science Applications International Corporation.”
However, instead of traveling to his SAIC office in Colorado on 9/11 as he had planned, “Blitch scrapped the trip and headed for New York. On the road, Blitch donned his fatigues, dug out his military ID, and worked his cell phone, summoning colleagues from Florida to Boston to pack up their finest tactical robots and rendezvous at Ground Zero.” And “Over the next 11 days, the group’s 17 robots squeezed into spaces too narrow for humans, dug through heaps of scalding rubble, and found seven bodies trapped beneath the mountains of twisted steel and shattered concrete.”
An award presentation for Blitch stated that, “Within 15 minutes of the second plane crash into the WTC, Blitch called roboticists and manufacturers with field-ready robots to supplement robots donated by the federal government’s Defense Applied Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He drove to New York from Washington, DC, and within six hours was met by teams from nearby companies. Eighteen hours after the attacks, robots were on the rubble pile.” How Blitch might have predicted, within 15 minutes of the second plane crash, that the towers would completely collapse (a process that did not begin for another 40 minutes) and generate a rubble pile to clean up, is not evident.
LTC Blitch was experienced at such search missions, having done “ground-breaking research in robot assisted search and rescue conducted during the Oklahoma City Bombing response.” Blitch was the former chief of unmanned systems for SOCOM during the period when Wayne Downing was SOCOM commander. Therefore Downing and Blitch had worked together before coming to SAIC.
An expert on unmanned aircraft, including Predator 2 and other drones, Blitch developed his knowledge when he led the DARPA Tactical Mobile Robots program from 1998 to 2001. During this time, Blitch worked with NIST, the Commerce Department agency that wrote the final report on what happened at the WTC.
In 1999, a report submitted to Blitch described laser technology being developed by the Army in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where nanothermite was being developed. By May 2001, laser technology was being used by Blitch’s robot program. It was reported that “Robots are performing quite successfully in the field of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD)” and “EOD units [include] a laser weapon for ordnance neutralization [used to] burn unexploded ordnance.”
Therefore, LTC Blitch of SOCOM and SAIC had the means and opportunity to neutralize any unwanted explosives that might have been buried in the pile at Ground Zero. Environmental data generated by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the University of California, Davis are supportive of the hypothesis that unexplained explosive or incendiary events were occurring at the site during the cleanup efforts. The fires in the debris pile, which were violent and long-lasting, could not be extinguished even through extreme firefighting efforts and indicted the presence of energetic materials.
Could it be that SAIC, a company that benefited tremendously from the attacks and had worked on development of related explosive and incendiary materials was working to eliminate un-ignited energetic materials at Ground Zero?
SAIC has extensive links to nanothermite development and had judged related research proposals for the military and its contractors. SAIC had also been involved in developing and formulating nanothermite directly. What’s more, SAIC’s subsidiary Applied Ordnance Technology did research on the ignition of nanothermite with lasers. Therefore the finding that thermitic materials were present in the WTC dust leads to questions about the company’s involvement.
SAIC supplied the largest contingent of non-governmental investigators to the NIST WTC investigation. The SAIC employees involved in the investigation included computer programmers, project managers, public outreach personnel, graphics and writing personnel, and administrative staff. SAIC was thanked specifically for having helped with NCSTAR 1-5 and its sub-reports, which focused on the computer modeling that predicted the intensity of the fires and the structural responses to those fires.
Manufacturing and Then Profiting From War
Since 9/11, a majority of government intelligence work has been outsourced, and SAIC is the leader in that arena. SAIC sells expertise about weapons, homeland security, surveillance, computer systems, and information warfare, and it has been awarded more individual government contracts than any other private company in America.
For many years, SAIC was a pioneer in the intelligence contracting business. Through September 11th, however, SAIC’s power grew exponentially and it is now integral to the operations of all the major intelligence collection agencies, particularly the NSA, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the CIA. As an example of how powerful the company has become, the CIA relies on SAIC to spy in its own workforce.
SAIC has also played an integral role in the War on Terror and was even responsible for capturing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. It was SAIC staff and technology that “tease[ed] out crucial clues about Mohammed’s activities from intercepted text messages that he sent to his al Qaeda operatives using as many as 20 different cell phones.”
After 9/11, SAIC was hired to fix the problems it had created with terrorist tracking systems. Duane Andrews was personally in charge of the project called Trailblazer, which was originally launched in 1999 but ostensibly was not tested for operational use by the U.S. government until six years later. The system was meant to translate all NSA intercepts, including telephone, email and other electronic information, into actionable intelligence.
An oft-cited example of the failures that Trailblazer was meant to avoid was the reported incident in which messages stating “tomorrow is zero hour” and “the match begins tomorrow” were intercepted by the NSA on September 10, 2001 but not translated until September 12th. The Trailblazer system was not the answer to those problems, however, and was ultimately a total failure. After six years and $1.2 billion spent, the NSA cancelled the project in 2005.
Another huge failure led by SAIC was with the FBI system called Virtual Case File (VCF), which was intended to solve the supposed information sharing problem that prevented the FBI from tracking terrorists like Al-Mihdhar and Al-Hazmi (who lived with an FBI informant). VCF was meant to provide a centralized database of terrorism related information that all FBI agents could utilize. However, after three years and hundreds of millions in costs, VCF was written off as “the most highly publicized software failure in history.”
SAIC’s 9/11 profiteering didn’t stop there. While helping NIST to determine the causes of the WTC destruction, “SAIC personnel were instrumental in pressing the case that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and that war was the only way to get rid of them.” The company helped supply the faulty intelligence claiming that Saddam had WMDs; then it profited from the invasion by generating Iraq contracts worth billions of dollars. In 2003 alone, SAIC pulled in $5.4 billion in government revenue.
But Wayne Downing was not the only SAIC representative pushing for war in Iraq. In 1998, the former United Nations weapons inspector David Kay had become director of SAIC’s Center for Counterterrorism Technology and Analysis. At the time, Kay testified to Congress that Saddam Hussein “remains in power with weapons of mass destruction.” For the next four years, Kay joined with Downing in leading the claims that Iraq had WMDs and was a threat to world security. Incredibly, after the U.S. invasion in 2003 found no such weapons, Kay left SAIC to head the CIA’s Iraq Survey Group, which was used to officially discredit the sources of the warmongering claims that he and Downing had so eagerly promoted.
Shortly after the invasion, SAIC hired Paul Wolfowitz’s extra-marital girlfriend, Shaha Riza, to go to Iraq as a subject matter expert to help set-up an interim government. Through unidentified channels of authority, deputy secretary Wolfowtiz had “directed SAIC to hire Riza” and had gotten her a security clearance despite the fact that she was a foreign national.
In the lead-up to the U.S. invasion, SAIC was awarded a contract to help establish the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council. The Council was a group of Iraqi-born U.S. citizens who came to Baghdad to serve as the “Iraqi face” of the occupation authority. There they were trained for key leadership positions in Iraqi ministries. At the same time, SAIC went on to work with Vinnell Corporation to train the Iraqi military.The company worked there with L. Paul Bremer and, very likely, Bernard Kerik.
In 2003, SAIC was awarded a no-bid contract from the Pentagon’s Joint Psychological Operations Support group to run the Iraqi Free Media Program. It was reported that SAIC was hand-picked for this program by L. Paul Bremer, despite the fact that the company had no news operations experience. The propaganda program that SAIC created was later said to be the only functioning weapon of mass destruction in Iraq. Swelling to a 5-year, $300 million contract to boost the United States’ image, it called for developing slogans, advertisements, newspaper articles, radio spots, and TV programs to build support for U.S. policies in the occupied country.
With the help of SAIC, John Poindexter of Iran-Contra fame was able to convince the U.S. government to hire him to ensure “Total Information Awareness” as a result of the 9/11 attacks. Through related programs, SAIC won major contracts for management of huge IT systems that involved spying on Americans and running the Joint Intelligence Operations Centers (JIOCs).
Moving Toward Knowledge and Justice
In 2006, Andrews quit SAIC to join a company called QinetiQ, which had evolved from a British Ministry of Defense program. Through its subsidiaries Apogen, Westar, Foster & Miller, and Planning Systems Inc., QinetiQ provided services in psychological warfare, information security, and electronic warfare. The company became the largest supplier of unmanned vehicles, including robots and drones, to the U.S. military and intelligence community.
QinetiQ also acquired a company called Analex, which was previously called Hadron. As an employee of Hadron, which was principally owned by Earl Brian, Rudy Giuliani’s Justice Department colleague Peter Videnieks had, years before, illegally transferred PROMIS software to foreign governments. According to journalist Daniel Casolaro, Earl and Videnieks were involved in a criminal conspiracy related to PROMIS, BCCI, and several deep state operations. That criminal conspiracy allegedly also involved the Wackenhut Corporation, whose director Frank Carlucci later ran the Carlyle Group.
In 2003, The Carlyle Group took over control of QinetiQ as the company’s new, primary shareholder. Andrews joined three years later as head of the North American division. Shortly after Andrews was hired, former CIA Director George Tenet was elected to QinetiQ’s board of directors and Stephen Cambone left the Pentagon to sign on as Vice President for Strategy. Under Andrews, Cambone began to secure huge government contracts to support programs that he had set up when he was Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.
Recently, Andrews’ division of QinetiQ was hired to provide engineering services and products to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The contract, worth billions, calls for the development of ground systems and equipment for the processing of launch vehicles, spacecraft, and payloads; as well as flight systems support in terms of both hardware and software.
Stratesec director James Abrahamson’s company GeoEye worked in partnership with QinetiQ to secure oil fields in Nigeria. GeoEye is a satellite-based company, providing services that increased intelligence gathering capabilities as well as enabled spying on citizens from above. Coincidentally, Abrahamson added Andrews’ former DIA director (and future Director of National Intelligence) James Clapper to his board. Hopefully, these companies are not making preparations for a “Space Pearl Harbor.”
Considering the incredible growth in contracts that SAIC realized from the events of 9/11, any independent investigation into those events should carefully consider the role played by that company and its leadership. Andrews and his company were integral to U.S. counterterrorism programs in the years prior to 9/11. The company’s role included creating the national databases that tracked and identified terrorists, supplying airport screening equipment, predicting and investigating terrorist attacks against the WTC, helping to create the official account for what happened at the WTC after 9/11, and providing the information to capture KSM. Undoubtedly, SAIC’s impact on counterterrorism programs prior to 9/11 was unique and pervasive.
Combined with the company’s huge profits as a result of the attacks, a solid case can be made for the need to investigate SAIC and its leaders for conflicts of interest if not for fraud due to the failed systems that SAIC created.
Duane Andrews should be a person of interest because he had expert knowledge of the vulnerabilities of the U.S. defense and information systems at a time when many of those systems failed catastrophically. If anyone knew how to exploit weaknesses in these telecommunications and electronic systems, it was Cheney’s protégé Andrews.
Notes to Chapter 15
- Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, Washington’s $8 Billion Shadow, Vanity Fair, March 2007
- Kevin R. Ryan, The Top Ten Connections Between NIST and Nanothermites, Journal of 9/11 Studies, July 2008
- Gerry Simone, Getting the Big Picture, GovConExec, December 7th, 2011
- At the CIA’s website, Andrews is listed as one of the HPSCI staff members who were briefed on Oliver North’s Nicaraguan Contra program and the associated drug trafficking allegations.
- Patricia Daukantas, Information security is too often MIA, GCN, Aug 14, 2002, http://gcn.com/articles/2002/08/14/information-security-is-too-often-mia.aspx
- Morris Berman, Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire, W. W. Norton & Company, 2011
- Douglas F. Garthoff, Directors of Central Intelligence as Leaders of the U.S. Intelligence Community, 1946-2005, Potomac Books, Inc., Oct 31, 2007, p 187
- UPI, Cheney Overhauls Intelligence Structure, March 21, 1991
- Able Danger was an electronic search and linking project that identified Mohamed Atta and three other of the alleged hijackers before the 9/11 attacks. In early 2001, the program was shut down and all records were ordered to be destroyed. Congressman Curt Weldon made considerable efforts to expose the program after 9/11
- Douglas F. Garthoff, Directors of Central Intelligence as Leaders of the U.S. Intelligence Community, p 213
- Bruce V. Bigelow, No. 2 executive at SAIC resigns after 13 years, The San Diego Union-Tribune, February 2, 2006
- Fifties Frogs Magazine, Biographies of Navy Frogmen, Vol. 4, RADM Cathal L. Flynn, http://www.navyfrogmen.com/fiftiesfrogs/vol4/vol4kbio.htm
- Bill Salisbury, Ex-Navy SEALS Wage War Over Airport Security, San Diego Reader, September 27, 2001, accessed at: http://cursor.org/venturawatch/fight_flight.htm
- Brian Michael Jenkins, Bruce Butterworth and Cathal Flynn, What we can learn from the Christmas Day bombing attempt, The Washington Post, March 26, 2010
- Patricia Daukantas, Information security is too often MIA
- Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, Washington’s $8 Billion Shadow
- Laura Rozen, The First Contract, The American Prospect, March 30, 2007
- J. Robert Beyster, The SAIC Solution: How We Built an $8 Billion Employee-Owned Technology Company, John Wiley & Sons, Mar 31, 2007
- The Center for Public Integrity, Winning Contractors: U.S. Contractors Reap the Windfalls of Post-war Reconstruction, October 30, 2003. See also J. Robert Beyster, The SAIC Solution.
- New York County Supreme Court, Matter of World Trade Ctr. Bombing Litig, 2004 NY Slip Op 24030 [3 Misc 3d 440], January 20, 2004
- New York State Law Reporting Bureau, In The Matter of World Trade Center Bombing Litigation, 2004 NY Slip Op 24030 [3 Misc 3d 440], January 20, 2004
- Science Applications International Corporation, Annual Report 2004 http://www.saic.com/news/pdf/Annual-Report2004.pdf
- U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Technology Against Terrorism: The Federal Effort, OTA-ISC-481, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, July 1991.
- A. Maureen Rouhi, Government, Industry Efforts Yield Array Of Tools To Combat Terrorism, Chemical & Engineering News, July 24, 1995
- Tim Shorrock, Spies for Hire, Simon and Schuster, 2008
- Statement by Duane P. Andrews, Chairman, Defense Science Board Task Force on Information Warfare & Defense, accessed at: https://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1997_hr/h970320a.htm
- Matthew Everett, Backup Communications System Was ‘Miraculously’ Switched on for ‘Exercise Mode’ and Ready for Use on 9/11, Shoestring 9/11, January 10, 2011
- Matthew Everett, The Repeatedly Delayed Responses of the Pentagon Command Center on 9/11, Shoestring 9/11, November 7, 2010
- Matthew Everett, Why Were U.S. Intelligence Facilities in an ‘Information Void’ During the 9/11 Attacks?, Shoestring 9/11, August 19, 2012
- The 9/11 Commission Report, p 40. Note that these communication failures helped ensure that the President was out of the loop for a longer period of time.
- Science Applications International Corporation, Press Release, August 24, 1994
- National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report, 2004, p 539
- Nick Wakeman, Boeing Information Services Sale Has Industry Abuzz, Washington Technology, Jan 21, 1999
- James A. Leach, Russian Money Laundering: Congressional Hearing, DIANE Publishing, 2001
- Report of the Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization
- Peter Ogden, Who is Stephen Cambone, Center for American Progress, July 20, 2004
- See the “9/11 Document & Briefing Requests” summary of August 22, 2003, and the October 29, 2003 Memorandum from the 9/11 Commission’s Team 8, describing the DOD’s non-compliance. These documents are available at Scribd, via the 911DocumentArchive.
- Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror, Simon and Schuster, 2004
- 9/11 Commission Memorandum for the Record, Interview of Jeff Griffith, prepared by Lisa Sullivan, March 31,2004
- Jane Mayer, What Did the Vice-President Do for Halliburton?, The New Yorker, February 16 & 23, 2004 issue
- SAIC shareholder report, 2004, http://tinyurl.com/bwslby7
- William Launder, Homeland Security Goes Public, Forbes.com, August 3.2006
- Michael Behar, The New Mobile Infantry: Battle-ready robots are rolling out of the research lab and into harm’s way, Wired, Issue 10.05, May 2002
- Developer of Robots Used in World Trade Center Rescue Efforts Honored by ACM, March 11, 2002, http://www.acm.org/announcements/lawler_2001.html
- American Android Corp webpage, About Us, http://www.americanandroid.com/about.jb.html
- Del Quentin Wilber, Drones Raise Safety Issues as Service Roles Multiply, Washington Post, July 20, 2007
- Sylvia Pagán Westphal, Robots join search and rescue teams, The New Scientist, 19 September 2001
- Elli Angelopoulou and John R. Wright Jr., Laser Scanner Technology, University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer & Information Science Technical Reports (CIS), 1999
- Sandra I. Erwin, Battlefield Robots: Not Just ‘Entertainment’, National Defense, May 2001
- Kevin R. Ryan, et al, Environmental anomalies at the World Trade Center
- Kevin R. Ryan, The Top Ten Connections Between NIST and Nanothermites
- Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, Washington’s $8 Billion Shadow
- Tim Shorrock, Spies for Hire, Simon and Schuster, 2008
- Paul Kaihla, US: In The Company Of Spies, CorpWatch, May 1st, 2003
- Harry Goldstein, Who Killed the Virtual Case File?: How the FBI blew more than $100 million on case-management software it will never use, IEEE Spectrum, September 2005
- Charlie Cray, “Science Applications International Corporation,” CorpWatch, http://www.corpwatch.org/section.php?id=17 ; cf. Barlett and Steele, “Washington’s $8 Billion Shadow.”
- Frida Berrigan, Merchant of Death of the Month: Science Applications International, Non-Violent Activist, Jan.-Feb. 2006
- Steven R. Weisman and David E. Sanger, Unusual Trip to Iraq in ’03 for Wolfowitz Companion, The New York Times, April 17, 2007
- Government Accountability Project, Paul Wolfowitz Scandal, Background – 2006
- Frida Berrigan, Merchant of Death of the Month
- The Center for Public Integrity, Winning Contractors: U.S. Contractors Reap the Windfalls of Post-war Reconstruction, October 30, 2003
- Tim Shorrock, QinetiQ Goes Kinetic: Top Rumsfeld Aide Wins Contracts from Spy Office He Set Up, CorpWatch, January 15, 2008
- Tim Shorrock, QinetiQ Goes Kinetic
- For references to the Wacknehut connection to the Casolaro investigation, see Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith’s book “The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro,” Feral House, 1996.
- Lisa Singh, The Top 20 People to Watch in 2011, EcecutiveBiz, December 14, 2010
- See the website for GeoQinetiQ, http://www.geoqinetiq.com/